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Isles Looking to Close Out Series vs Penguins

Despite series stranglehold, the Islanders are adopting a "nothing's been done" mentality as they try to close out Penguins

by Cory Wright WrightsWay /

Armed with a 3-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Islanders are in a place they haven't been in 36 years, on the cusp of a series sweep. 

On Twitter, it's an all-out celebration. In the Islanders locker room, the mood nonchalant and businesslike, as the Isles know there's still plenty of work to be done. 

"It's the mentality that nothing's been done," captain Anders Lee said after the team's practice at PPG Paints Arena on Monday. "We've put ourselves in a great position and we want to continue to move forward. This next one is going to be the toughest, we're going to see their best game and we're really going to have to step up, everyone in this room, top to bottom."

The Islanders lead a series 3-0 for the first time since the 1983 Stanley Cup Final, a series they finished off in four games. The numbers are in the Islanders favor as well, as teams with a 3-0 series lead are 186-4 all-time, but they are not taking the Penguins lightly, given their Stanley Cup experience and star power. 

Video: Practice Update 4/15: In The Room

"Obviously we're happy to be in this position, but Barry said the fourth one is going to be the toughest one," said Brock Nelson, who netted Sunday's game-winner. "We're going to be trying to end their season, so we have to expect their best [in Game 4] and come out even better and even sharper."

The even-keeled demeanor has been a characteristic of the Islanders all season, a trait instituted by Head Coach Barry Trotz and GM Lou Lamoriello. Trotz's demeanor doesn't vary much win or lose, while Lamoriello is as methodical as they come. They are first ones to remind the Islanders they haven't won anything yet and the steady approach up top can be felt by the players. 

"That's kind of bled through our locker room. We never let the emotions really get the best of us," Matt Martin said. "We're pretty even-keeled overall. That obviously stems from them. Behind the bench [Barry] is never really hooting and hollering. When we're yelling at the refs he tells us to shut up and he keeps us pretty level headed on the bench. I think that's important for our team in general, to not get too caught up in the moment and just focus on the task at hand and the outcome of the game."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Continue to prove people wrong. Three down, one to go. #NYIvsPIT

The Islanders have built their 3-0 lead by playing suffocating defense, capitalizing on their chances and being physical and agitating with the Penguins stars. It's a combination that only works with their foot on the gas and they have no intention of letting up. As good as things have gone through three games, they won't be happy until they get the fourth. 

"Win the fourth one and we can be happy," said Robin Lehner, who has stopped 98-of-103 shots. "Right now we have three games. We need to win one more. They are a hell of a hockey team over there, we can't take anything for granted."


Scott Mayfield was given a maintenance day by the team on Monday. 

Video: Practice Update 4/15: Barry Trotz

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